At The Sight Of A Familiar Face

 

 

I… didn’t know how all this change would affect me, living so far from home, in a new place that, though it is growing on me, can be hard at times.  I think that’s why Thanksgiving was such a catalytic moment, both for my past and for my future.  It highlighted what could be and wasn’t, what should be, and what isn’t, how I am and who I thought I was.

Writing about this reminds me of a lesson I had long ago, one about the brain. You see, human beings are born with a special area in our brain devoted exclusively to identifying other faces. Lighting up beautifully when we see someone who is familiar, familiar eyes, nose, and mouth. Just as with anything we have been conditioned to, seeing a face can bring all these emotions to the forefront of our minds.  An inescapable subconscious reaction built upon years of experience and circumstance, so that when seeing it, emotions bloom into beasts and flowers beyond our control.

It was the happiness then of when I saw my family and friend who had all descended upon this weird stateless place for a visit. One connected to a weird set of circumstances where we all had reason to be at the same place at the same time. To see each other, to see the city, and refresh ourselves with something warm and familiar. A relief in this place that has had me going non-stop since I touched down, relief at the sight of a face, and all those worries melted away. Change is inevitable, and as the moments’ tick by fate plays it’s hand, after which it falls upon us to cope with there changes, adapt to this new world we find ourselves, sometimes surrounded by people and in others devoid of them. Either way, as circumstances presented themselves we ended up here together, and I can say that life would be a lot harder if that wasn’t true. It made me happy to see them, it made me remember who I am, and how this place sometimes makes me forget that. I was only a couple short days, but I appreciated them with all my heart. Though it marked a change in my life for my favorite holiday, it doesn’t mean that the change was bad, it just means that it’s something new.

We hold these new moments with the old which come together with a create a life.

Now as to why I might be mentioning this now of all times since it’s a lot closer to Christmas than Thanksgiving. This is because, in the last several weeks, I have been counting the days until I get to my home again, the one I left several months ago and seen since. A place filled to the plethora of familiar faces that I am excited to see. The relief of the return, even if just for a short while, will heal those wounds and worried faces, so when I come back, I can be strong once again.

I know it will be hard all around, but I’m ready. I am getting to understand the value of it all, piece by piece. I might be a fool because sometimes I have to go through hell to learn lessons, but I’m growing wiser with each passing day.

Will I Get Fat If I Eat Chocolates In My Dreams

You know I have been dreading to write this post, not because It would be especially hard to write but because I knew it would be wouldn’t be on the day I had intended on writing it. It’s been a long few weeks with a lot of classes and work that has taken me away from these essential extracurriculars. This writing is more than an exercise to me now; it’s a way to realign myself and capture my thoughts relegated to the time at which I had them. I feel bad when I don’t post, hence why I left this post blank for a while, as a means of a place holder, to give me no excuse not to write as it would tarnish the consistency of the blog. A work left undone that can only be rectified by finishing it. That being said, the inspiration for this post has come out of the collective struggle of those around me, whose of whom I love and hope the best for.


It’s the spirit of change that brings wanton heartache.  The long nights of unease and restlessness propagate this feeling of not knowing where I belong.  It’s in this realization that most places in this world believe that after a certain age, you are not to be taken care of anymore. Perhaps it’s the truth, that through all this supposed hand holding I am soft to the quality of needing other people, a reluctant truth I fight so hard against. No man is an island, so be it as it may, regardless of whether or not I feel strong enough to go it on my own that with other people, I will prosper.

But it was just so easy last time, a great fortune that with its absence, I feel unprepared. It’s left a hunger, one that has gone for the most part unsatiated in this new world of mine.  This is no fault of the place I find myself but more so the barrier of entry required to be given accessed the sweet social nector that is needed to sustain me is higher than I remember. Walls built in my mind that make reaching out and touching the tangable all the harder. Life is effortful so the experiences I have in it is in large part my responsibility, but the factors for my success are not as easily obtainable this time around.

I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like if I wasn’t able to lean on the relationships, I have cultivated over my lifetime. Talking with familiar faces and hearing nostalgic voices makes me feel that maybe, just maybe I can do this. It has restored me some semblance of normalcy, allowing me to get to work. To be all I can be.  I can tell you how humbling it is to realize how fragile we are, that eventually we will be weathered away to nothing if we don’t allow find protection in the raging storm.  I found a place to rest my head and find my bearings, only taking months of trying to find that balance, knowing full well how easy it would be tip me over and watch me fall.

That’s why it makes me so sad to see the suffering of my friends. Those of whom have embarked on their own journey outside my reach. I cannot cure all the ills of the world for the people I care about but to see them suffering from afar plagues me. Though I love the encroaching presence of technology’s ability to free us from the need of other people’s help, we have lost something though it, that ability to fulfill that human need to connect. Pushing it away like chocolate on a diet, we try to go through our lives seeing the indifference of our personal universes and proclaiming god to be dead the world to be terrible.  Quietness becomes that enemy when a few months prior, it was a trusted friend.   We find then, in introspection, we must be weak because of our inability to cope with this change. Weakness for needing other people. I dare say, that is not weakness, that is human. It is a calling out there that in your heart you want to connect, want to believe, and part of something more.

I tell you, you are not alone in this. You are not the only one feeling that way. We are not the first ones, we won’t be the last ones but together, it gets easier.  We are all hurting, struggling with this transition into a new world, separate from everything we’ve known, and that’s okay, it’s expected.  What we can do, by knowing this we is fight for ourselves, fight to reach out and build a foundation for ourselves and place to weather the storm.

If we need it, we need not wait to get it, we have to get out there and reach for it. We need to act against those little thoughts that tell us not to, that tells us that it’s bothersome to others. We have so many people that have chosen to be in our lives because they want to be.  Worrying about whether or not you should is like wondering if you will get fat by eating chocolate in your dreams, without action, it’s meaningless, who cares what those little thoughts say, what matters is you will be okay and we are all in this together.

Mono No Aware

 

 

“Mono-no aware: the ephemeral nature of life – the quietly elated, bittersweet feeling of having been witness to the dazzling circus of life – knowing that none of it can last…” – Wiki

It’s a melancholy appreciation for the transience of life, the love of the fleetingness of a single moment that, once occurring, can never truly happen again. That people grow, change, and as such, nothing is permanent. It’s a word derived from Japanese culture that speaks in large part to the appreciation that nothing last’s forever. Even their buildings and culture are created around the idea that there is something more than a simple structure, that there is a greater spirit that carries on a legacy even after the wood has warped, or the stone has crumbled. When this happens, there will come a day when a “hello” will be the last “hello” and a “goodbye” will be the last “goodbye”.

We all have knowledge of these things, coming to us from bittersweet memories that cling like spiky seed pods to clothing.  We face these conflicts and decide what we want to do with them as arise. This state of happy it happened but sad it’s over.  It’s so easy to avoid these emotions, to distance ourselves from any given event, to deny the permanence of forward leaping time but the moment will come nonetheless.

There is something beautiful about these ephemeral things. Would clouds be as wonderous if they never changed shape, or snowflake as magnificent if they didn’t melt when landing on your skin? We can appreciate them because we know what it was like before we had them and eventually learn what it’s like when they are gone.

It takes a lot of courage to face these moments head-on, to recognize there will be an end and keep going through the heartache that is likely to come.  A beautiful pain built on the temporary, with each person having to decide whether or not it was worth it in the end.

It’s only in accepting these feelings that we grow and change as people. If we try to hold to something long gone our knuckles will turn white by grasping at air and dust.  It’s not to forget but appreciate that sometimes some things have to end even if we aren’t ready. It’s death and disappearance,  two things we fight so hard against, are inevitable, but in learning to embrace them we glimpse the beautiful bittersweet appreciation of what can happen after.

A Song of Celebration and Sadness

Looking back the last several months, there is a theme of my posts getting a bit darker, and less hopeful which isn’t usually what I like to write about especially since the words come directly from what I am feeling earlier in the week. It’s because there’s a feeling following me around which I haven’t been to identify, like a cloud not quite raining. I was afraid I might have been getting depressed but it was only until a few days ago when I was catching up with a friend telling her about everything that has been going on the last several weeks that it made sense. She mentioned that all the stuff that’s been going on just seems ‘heavy’. I knew it when I heard it, that’s exactly how it’s been – heavy.

You see I’ve been mixed up with a lot of things, school, life, work but everything that’s been happening hasn’t had a wistfulness to it. Each thing, serious and demanding attention, requiring one more thing to rest upon my shoulders and carry on. Good news comes with stress, and bad news comes with emotions to the point where everything seems to just level out and carry on in a way that makes sense.

I am happy, but I’m not too happy, I’m sad but not too sad, each time I receive bad news good news isn’t far behind leaving me confused and having this muddled mix of mild coursing through me making it hard to really enjoy anything. It’s frustrating because I can’t give the time proper time for my emotions to cultivate and sing. I want to celebrate all the great things that are going on, the amazing things that are happening and I doesn’t feel right. I want to sulk and mourn for the sad things happening around me and yet I don’t feel in the proper place or mindset. My emotions aren’t swinging, they are balancing and it’s hurting me.

I just keep moving, somewhere between the heavens and the earth, both flying high and sinking low all at once. I want to rest my this pack hold my life on a rock somewhere and have time to process all the things riding on my shoulders. At least now I know what I’m feeling and with that I can start doing something about it.

A Current State Of Dissatisfaction

It was there, gazing out the window at the world as I realized that I couldn’t really appreciate what laid beyond the glass. It felt like a violet sunset on the horizon, and my emotions were setting like the sun only to give way to the cold and dark. Dissatisfaction is what rings out; dissatisfaction with where I am, with what I do, and how much I am able to do.  If you have ever read my past blog posts this should be a familiar theme that persists through the paragraphs.  Why should this be such a big problem now of all times when it hasn’t been a problem before?

My problem lies as there is no reason to be dissatisfied, in fact, I should be elated and yet it feels as if my body and soul are hesitant to this.  Waiting for the day when all can be right. The unknown keeping me from really feeling happy because I know happiness may lead to more sorrow in the future.

It’s a lack of control with all these forces whirling around me sucking the oxygen out of the air as I feel my breath trying to choke me. There are too many things up there in the sky above so when I get a moment to catch my breath all it feels like is that I’m wheezing. I tossed them all there when I had the energy to fight but now I am trying to catch them as they fall, hoping nothing breaks,

Days after days I keep on with this lingering mood, attempting to break free of it’s hold but as look above it appears the clouds are following me and that I should prepare for rain.

It’s when it gets cold that it I really seem to notice things. The chill of the relationships around me as I push them away for space and a supposed peace. All I want to do is sleep, even when opening up my eyes in the morning, it seems all I want to do is rest which I can’t seem to get.

This dissatisfaction is pulling me down with all its might. Like ice below my feet, I am getting stuck within its waters. I don’t know why I feel this way or made it happen so I’m waiting for the sun to rise to regain my strength… or maybe I’m just waiting for something to distract me long enough to make me forget that I am freezing.

The Great Wind Down

I don’t think it would be a surprise to anyone to say I have been stressed the last several months.  I think it’s been apparent in my writings and my actions outside of them.  Like a candle burning slowly through the night, I feel exhausted now that everything is said and done.  I have finally finished all I have to do before the holidays,  but now that things are over I feel.. well… not as I expected.

Everything is over, sure I have lingering projects that I have to do over the break and my job is still going to be there on Monday but I’m done, I made it through the end of this section. I thought I would be happy, overjoyed at this accomplishment and yet I just feel so… empty about it all.  Like I have been putting so much of myself into this endeavor that when it came time to submit I forgot to put anything back in.

This emptiness has been manifesting itself throughout my everyday. Things like sitting in chairs listlessly staring into the white of the walls around me, sleeping like a madman who found the meaning of his life in dreams,  and a general sense of apathy.  These feelings have been following me for days now, and maybe it’s part of the recovery process, but it bothers me.  For someone who has been depressed multiple times in his life, these symptoms are worrisome, and if they persist I feel like it will spell trouble. I might be overly sensitive to these things but I can tell you being depresses is something to be wary of.

I think this is all part of a great wind down, this recovery from fried nerves, long nights, and so much worrying.  It’s hard to stop after so much frenzied activity, to the point where I am almost more comfortable working at hurried pace than the silence that comes after.  There is no gradual tapering off in this season, it’s just all and then nothing.

It’s in recognizing these feelings that start the process of healing, knowing that it’s okay to be not okay for a little while as my spirit returns to me. These feelings of anxiety and lack of productivity will be fine for some time, as long as they aren’t keeping me from what I enjoy.  That I have to express my frustration and emotions as they come and be content with the things that I have. To know that things will return in time, and I have to keep pushing forward. In recognition, I have the ability to fight against this and rise above.

Today marks the day to start to recover from this crazy rollercoaster I have been on for the last 6 months, which is a coincidence because it is my birthday too. 

Frisson

frisson:  a brief moment of emotional excitement : shudder, thrill

This word, for me it symbolizes for me a moment that I feel when my heart reaches down and touches the world.  Pure emotion, profound emotion seeps into me as the overwhelming feeling of being alive makes itself known.

The best way I can describe it is an experience you are so enveloped by music, movie or book and you lose yourself for a moment.  You forget where you are, and whatever you are doing becomes the only thing that exists for a moment.  A silence, as you travel to another world or place and it becomes real for that one moment.
The feeling transcribes itself onto your soul so that you become so enveloped by it you don’t even care that it wasn’t your feeling, to begin with.  You share the pain, the elation, the sorrow, the untold happiness, and tragedy. You get goosebumps all over, standing on end in anticipation of the moment where the emotion comes home and strikes at your heart.  It’s silly, but it’s as real as it can get. For a moment, you are given a crystal clear view of an unspoken truth that unites hearts, and overwhelms you with the depth of our mysterious existence.

I found about about this word on accident, perusing the archives of the internet, I followed it down the rabbit hole until I found a word that explained something that I had felt for a long time.  The word came to describe this feeling I sometimes chase, this sense of being alive.  It has since become one of my favorite words.

The reason for this is there are some days when I begin to lose myself, at times life leaves me feeling empty, emotionless and flat.  Where everything begins to dim and become faded, and my emotions feel muted. It’s these moments where I seek this frisson, this passion that makes me feel human again.  Though it gets me into the bad habit of watching great profound and sometimes tragic moments from my favorite media, for me, it’s a lesson that life will go on and that at the end of the day, I am only human and that’s more than beautiful enough for me.

 

I would love for those who are reading this to post some of the things that make you feel this way.
Some of the examples of mine are:
Charlie Chaplin’s Speech from the Great Dictator
Last battle speech from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
and (without spoilers)
The end of the 10th Doctor from Dr. Who
And the end of some anime:
5 Centimeters Per Second
Ana Hana
Your Lie In April

 

 

A Loss Of Things To Do – Boredom​

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It feels like I am sleeping, my eyes feel heavy because there is nothing to rouse them awake.  I feel this need to pass my days quickly even though nothing is awaiting me on the other side of the morning.  It has begun, my body breaking down, my mind slowing and things become dreary.  It’s like the energy is sucked out of me, and I am empty. This is what boredom feels like to me, death.    I am fighting against this apathy, trying to find my way back from the quicksand that empty time is but what I find is a seductive force, that wants to keep you locked into that state of mind, locked into the nothing that comes with it.  I know that there is a time limit to my affliction, once I get back to school things will resume, but I must find the power to do the things need to accomplish between now and then.  I have a list of things to do, that will only get bigger if I decided just to lay around and think.  This corrosive force attacks my spirit and soul leaving me in a bad mood, and feeling worse. Like a disease of the mind, it may go into remission but is always waiting its chance to resurface with a vengeance.  What shall I do to combat this, how can I win? I provide structure, discipline but I am on shaky footing. These habits I create though useful act as though they are the stand-ins for my real habits. In this time period, without that structure, I can lose more than just time, but also my inertia to get through school the way I want to.
I need to fight and push past these barriers, kick this demotivation into next week, find the time and use it towards something I know at the end of the day will make me happy. This boredom can be used, turned around and worked.  I can use what I have been given to grow even stronger and move even faster.  Use this boredom as a blessing, to find strategies for the future, learn what makes me tick, and what I need to keep at it.
Soon enough my break will be over, and school will come once more. The way I see it, I can either find myself entering school, knowing I could have done more and accomplished much, or I can enter school knowing I acted upon these feelings and impulses that insist that I move, I go, I get out of bed and start working.  All I need to do is listen to that voice in my heart that is yelling at me to get out there and live the life I have always wanted to lead because what is better than doing things tomorrow, is doing them today.

To: The End Of The Year

I wanted to try a new mode of writing because I feel like my ability to express how I feel and my message are severely lacking. One thing I am good at is articulating how I feel in the form of a letter.

Dear 2016,

Hey, I thought I would squeeze this in right at the end of the year. We’ve known each other for a while now, and I wanted to get the chance to bridge out beyond our professional relationship before it’s too late (I am not known for my timing but bear with me).

We started off a bit sour, I had just been broken up with by 2015 and wasn’t in the place to accept new years into my life, especially after such an emotional roller coaster that the previous one was.

You took me under your wing and showed me how to pick myself up after it all. I would be more thankful, but you did kinda slap me senseless along the way. You took me back to my roots to show me all that I had and pointed out all the things I had to work on. Kept me grounded in reality, almost too much.

We had to get through loss and failure together, but somehow you just kept marching forward triumphantly.  I never understood your spirit, through all the chaos you kept moving.  I followed behind you, running to keep up, never wanting to fall behind again. 2016 you might have not been the best for me, but you did help me a great deal.

I got stronger during our time together, learned discipline and how to work hard for the things I want.  Made me understand the difference between doing and trying to do. You did make me feel uncomfortable with all the change you brought about, but you said change was inevitable and you have to learn to live with it.

I know I wasn’t the best at times, and I still have a long way to go, but through all of our time together you really wanted me to become a better person. Truth be told, I felt more human with you, more vulnerable because you don’t take my shit and you constantly ask me for more and more. I opened myself up this year to the world and people around me, because you showed me how much more I could lose if I didn’t.

It might have been wrong of me to make plans for you at the beginning, all those ideas that never panned out. You took care of me, though, created times and situations where I could genuinely laugh and smile.  Let me see my friends, made me feel like I wasn’t some broken cog in a machine. I saw that I had some purpose here and that people wanted me around. Gave me perspective, and a chance to expand my view beyond myself.

I know we didn’t agree at times, and at others, we were busy with our own goings on, but I always knew you were watching over me.
I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to say this earlier and only now that you are leaving that I have the courage to speak, Thank you 2016 for all the love, pain, and discovery we shared together.  Without you, I would still be in that hole looking up at the sky hoping to be saved instead of learning to climb out of it myself.

2016, at the end of it all with you going away we both know you weren’t the greatest thing to happen to me. You’ll go on your way knowing you made a difference, it’s up to me now to greet the new year and start working towards my future. So have a nice trip, I know we may never see each other again, but the memories we shared are irreplaceable. 2016, I love you.

Most Sincerely,
Me